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Tuesday, February 21, 2017




It did not take long for Nathans call to be answered by his boss Tony.  The fear in voice as he laid out the scene for his superior lacked in nothing. "Its a blood bath down here man I can't stop it. Something crazy has happened to some of the the participants. You have to get here now.  I am out of here".


 Tony listened quietly as the voice on the other end spoke.  He felt the color drain from his face and his throat go dry as he hung on the edge of every word.  The words sliced and pierced  his flesh as though a hundred bees had stung  him.  Emergency, gun shots, casualties-several casualties, blood bath.  Words that echoed over and over in his head.  Then, he heard  the deafening silence as  he held the dead phone in his trembling hand.

The research center in Hill City was his baby.  He had watched her go from just an idea in Copeland's California Headquarters board room, to a full  operating research center in rural Minnesota, with a promising future.  "The plan" his plan, had been brilliantly executed.  From the pharmaceutical labs to the study enrol lees it had a secure well thought out  protocol. From the very beginning he saw this as a way to make a huge profit on the side.  He had been  very persuasive at convincing Copeland's executive  board and investors to see things his way.   His staff had been instructed on how to react in emergency situations.  His front men were in place at all times reporting back to him and covering up any slips.  What he had just been informed was impossible.  This simply  could not be happening.   He looked down at the report in front of him and shook his head. Everything on paper looked perfect. The profits were looking  good.  The lab results were in  good shape.  The Center had been open for 18  months and   operating at full capacity for a full 6 months now.  With all their bases covered why and how could this have blown up to such a catastrophe.

Tony pulled open his bottom desk drawer.  He reached his long fingers into the  back, where he felt for the bottle of bourbon he kept there.  He took a long swallow before he rang for his assistant, Vanessa.  A curvy 30 something brunette with attitude and nerve.  She was a  tough gal who spoke her mind  and that was  most likely the reason why he had  never had a rendezvous with her, as well the fact they worked to close together. She did her job well and he liked her looks it just  made good business sense to him to keep things at that, even though at times he could feel parts of him stiffen when she was around.

"Vanessa, I need the corporate jet to fly me to Minnesota, stat." He told her dryly.
She paused for a moment. "Are you forgetting you have meetings with the finance department this afternoon?" she asked him, rather surprised he wanted the plane.   "Why right now, and for how long?"  She asked in a tone only she dared to use with him. Impatience grew in him. " I need to check out the Center, I don't know how long -a few days-I ah-just get the God-damn  plane ready.  NOW. I don't have time for more questions, not now." He hung up the phone and took another hit of his bourbon. He felt the warm liquor slowly slide down his throat as he stared out the window. He rubbed the sides of his temples with his thumbs then drew a deep breath. Eve- he thought to himself. Oh why couldn't she had just kept her nose to running the centers administrating parts.

Tony picked up the Centers file and stuffed them into his briefcase. He  then went into his private washroom to throw water onto his face and grab the overnight bag he kept packed for last minute and spur of the moment  trips.  He heard  Vanessa enter his office as he finished drying his face. When he came back into the office she held out a  fresh cup of coffee for him, which he readily took from her.  "Thanks, Let my wife know I had to fly to the Center in MN and  I  will call her later." he told her. Vanessa stepped closer and adjusted the collar on his suit. "Sure thing and  I'll  cancel all meetings for today and  tomorrow ". She said a bit worried.    "The plane is being fueled and prepped for your flight. Should be ready in 30 minutes I have a car downstairs waiting for you."  With that he handed her back the coffee and left. Vanessa stood  there briefly watching him walk.